Tag Archives: adopt never buy from a pet store or breeder

Caring about animals – always in style for Dorrie!

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Dorrie!🍀🍀🍀

For the Love of DaVinci

By Dorrie Maynard

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DaVinci – an awesome dog!!!❤❤❤❤

First, I would like to say that although I have never owned a pit bull – in a perfect world – someday I might. I am used to my small (under 10 pound
dogs), and I am not sure I could
handle the strength of a pit. Also, unfortunately, I don’t think I have
the lifestyle that it takes to maintain such a powerful dog. They like
to go for long walks, need plenty
of exercise and eat lots of food.

Some background: Pit Bulls, known as American Pit Bull Terriers, were originally called the “Nanny” dog because of their unparalleled love
and devotion for children. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century that was their primary use – a family dog for a family with kids. Some may remember Petey, the pit bull of the 1930s movie shorts and later for TV show, The Little Rascals. He was a loyal and well loved pit bull. And for the record, The United Kennel Club does
not recommend using pit bulls as guard dogs because they are too friendly with strangers.

I remember when my son came to visit me and told me he had a“terrier,” I had no idea he was talking about a pit bull terrier. I was nervous about my small dogs and cats. I had never really spent anytime around a pit. Needless to say, that within half an hour of meeting Lacey, she was up on my bed and loved the company of my small dogs and they really enjoyed her playfulness. The cats kept their distance, but only because of her size – they were not used to being around such a large dog. But Lacey the pit bull had no real interest and never went after either of my cats. Within time if Lacey had been at my house for for a longer period, I am sure the cats would have been fine.

On to the story of Davinci.

He was a pit bull scheduled for death row along with two other dogs. Dr. Marty Becker put a plea on his site for help with the placement of these three dogs. They had been at an animal shelter that was closing. The volunteer that sat at the shelter desk took personal ownership of the dogs so they could be placed. Sweet Pea Rescue stepped up and took the dogs in. They came to the rescue on October 31, they were schedule to be euthanized on November 1, 2014.

I met all three of the dogs while volunteering at Sweet Pea before their horrific 2015 fire. Stella and Davinci were the only two dogs that did not perish in the fire! It was touch
and go for awhile after the fire, as they both had major health issues they were now faced with. But their determination to live never allowed either of them to give up.

The the dedication of the volunteers from Sweet Pea who visited the dogs and the staff at West Side also played a
huge part in their recovery and rehabilitation. Both Stella and Davinci had “issues” and needed to be
placed as the only animal in a home.

After the fire, they both had health problems that further complicated their
ability to be adopted, as they both needed long term medication and regular veterinarian exams. After almost a year in boarding, Stella was able to find her forever home, but Davinci was not been so lucky. Since the fire, he was being boarded at West Side and had regular
visits from dedicated volunteers from Sweet Pea. He was taken on long walks and drives and had special treats of ice
cream cones. Unfortunately, he was attacked by an off leash dog and bit the volunteer that was handling him. He bit her as she was trying to get him under control. Because of his bite history, West Side was unable to keep him as a boarder at their facility.

And so the scramble started. What could be done with Davinci? He was such a survivor and everyone had worked so hard to keep him alive! He was now facing an
uncertain future. SP had days to find an alternative situation for Davinci. I was not a part of the brain storming that took place, but within the small amount of time that was allotted, a dog trainer stepped up who is backed by an established 501c3. They have taken custody of Davinci with the goal of helping him to get back on track and hopefully find that forever home that he so deserves!

Rumor has it … that Davinci is now living in a home environment and even has a couch to call his own – for the time being.

This spring, please send
Davinici loving thoughts as he is more than deserving of love and a home with a loving owner/s. We wish him luck on what we all hope to be his last leg of a very long journey … home!

Happy Trails, Davinci! All the best! There are so many who love you and are praying for you every step of the way!

everybodys-somebodys-baby

Dog shows are for the birds!

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Lilac and Jett – a couple of all-American mutts! pic: R.T.

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

It’s awards season. Movie buffs tune in to the Academy Awards, and music fans gear up for the Grammys. But people who care about dogs want nothing to do with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — at least, not once they learn that this overblown spectacle costs dogs their health, their happiness and even their lives.

It’s all about appearances at Westminster. To produce dogs who are cookie-cutter replicas of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) “breed standards” — which the judges use to decide who gets ribbons and titles — breeders engage in practices that leave many dogs with lifelong deformities and serious, even fatal, health problems.

Breeding for size extremes, to name just one example, has created a host of health woes. “Giant” and large breeds, such as mastiffs, St. Bernards, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Labradors and golden retrievers, are prone to hip dysplasia — which can cause severe pain and lameness— as well as osteosarcoma, an extremely aggressive bone cancer that tends to metastasize rapidly to other body parts.

Tiny breeds, such as Boston and Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and miniature poodles, are prone to patellar luxation (dislocated kneecaps), which is painful and can cause lameness. Dogs who’ve been bred to have unnaturally short legs, such as basset hounds, often endure chronic problems with elbow dislocation. Dachshunds are notoriously prone to ruptured vertebral discs, which can cause intense pain and lead to permanent paralysis.

Inbreeding — which breeders often resort to in an attempt to keep prizewinning traits “in the family” — also increases dogs’ odds of inheriting a long list of debilitating genetic afflictions. Cardigan Welsh corgis, dachshunds and basset hounds, for example, are prone to primary severe combined immunodeficiency (the “bubble boy” disease). Addison’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the adrenal glands, is more common in bearded collies, Portuguese water dogs and standard poodles and can cause them to become weak and lethargic, vomit, stop eating and collapse from shock. The list of genetically linked canine health afflictions goes on and on.

But despite these risks, breeders mate countless dogs with their family members. At Crufts — Westminster’s British counterpart — the 2016 Best of Breed Pekingese award went to a dog whose paternal grandparents were half siblings. The 2015 Best of Breed pug award went to a dog whose family tree is even more twisted: His grandfather on his mother’s side is also his father’s grandfather.

As disturbing as all this is, what many people who care about animals find most upsetting about Westminster is that it worsens the homeless-dog crisis. Not every puppy breeders produce in hopes of taking home a ribbon is a prizewinner, and those who aren’t are often sold. These puppies take away the chance of finding a home from a dog waiting in a shelter.

Many purebreds also end up homeless themselves — they account for about a quarter of dogs in shelters. And by promoting purebreds and implying that they are somehow superior — even though mixed-breed dogs are just as smart and loving, in addition to being far less likely to experience the health problems that plague purebreds — Westminster drives traffic to breeders and pet stores instead of to shelters, where there are countless loving dogs in desperate need of homes.

Westminster doesn’t honor dogs; it harms them — from those who suffer their whole lives for a certain “look” to those who miss out on homes because people think they need a purebred instead of a lovable mutt. That’s why anyone who truly cares about dogs will condemn this cruel “awards show.”

Animal rights! – always in style!

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Rosalie’s mom loved cats! When she died Rose “inherited” April (pictured above), a homeless kitty Mrs. Tirella had made her precious own – for a decade+! pic:R.T.

A heartbreaking fate awaits homeless cats, as I learned firsthand

By Colleen O’Brien

I met Big Show nearly five years ago, when I moved into my new house. At the time, he was one of three feral cats who were fed and given outdoor shelter by a kind neighbor. He was a beautiful boy, with long, fluffy orange hair and big golden eyes.

One day, one of the cats, whose name I never knew, appeared injured, so I took her to the vet. She couldn’t walk and had a number of injuries to her hindquarters, and the vet recommended euthanasia to end her suffering. That left Big Show and Smokey, a black cat who was Big Show’s best friend.

Each summer, we’d see Big Show and Smokey looking for shade to keep cool. We put up a big umbrella on our porch for them to lie under. In the winter, I put straw in the houses and shelters that my neighbor had set up for them so they had something to burrow down into to fend off the cold. Still, these shelters couldn’t keep them as warm as a home would have. Every time a winter storm came through, I worried that they would freeze to death. During sweltering summers and bitterly cold winters, life must have been miserable for them.

My family and I started feeding them regularly, putting out food when we got home from work. Initially, they took only food that was placed at the end of our yard. But after more than four years of this routine, Big Show became a bit more comfortable around us and began timidly making his way onto our back porch for food. Once Smokey saw that his friend was safe, he joined him.

Eventually, Big Show began watching for the kitchen light to come on, signaling that I was home. Then he’d venture onto our back porch and call out until I fed him. As always, Smokey would join him once he was sure there was no danger.

One night, during one of our feedings, Big Show finally let me pet him. From neck to tail, there was not a spot on this poor cat that wasn’t covered with matted knots. They were so tight against his skin that I knew it must be uncomfortable, even painful, for him to move. I tried to pet mostly his face and head and to avoid touching the knots and hurting him. He loved it. I think this was the first time in his life that he’d been touched. After that night, he began visiting not only for food but also for affection. I decided to give him just a couple more days to learn to trust me, then I would take him to the vet and have the knots removed.

But I never got the chance.

Not long after that, Big Show was lying on our porch late one night. He didn’t get up to greet me, which I thought was odd, but I ignored the voice in my head telling me that something was wrong. Smokey, as always, was nearby, watching. I petted Big Show for a while and then went inside. That was the last time I saw him.

The next day, I thought about his behavior the night before, and I just knew something was wrong. I called my neighbors, but no one had seen him. My fiancé and I went out looking for him but to no avail. When we saw Smokey lying all alone in a neighbor’s yard, my heart sank.

I believe Big Show came to my house the night that he was dying. Then he went somewhere and died alone.

I can’t forgive myself for not taking him to the vet that night. I failed him. And whoever dumped him on the street and left him to fend for himself—they failed him, too. I hope I made his life a little better while I knew him. And I’ll try to do the same for Smokey, who is alone now, and for any other cats who show up homeless in my neighborhood because their “owners” refuse to spay or neuter their animals or don’t recognize or care how dangerous and miserable it is for cats who are forced to live outdoors.

Did you know the Worcester Animal Rescue League practically has a mini-store dedicated to animals?

Inside WARL! All proceeds go to help their precious babies!

Here is a bunny up for adoption:

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Some items they sell!

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Leashes, pretty collars, pup clothes, books, cards, calendars – it’s all here!

At the Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) at 139 Holden St., Worcester!

Open 7 days a week from noon to 4 pm

Phone: (508) 853-0030

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Rosalie says, Yeah! She got 3 of her 4 dogs at WARL!

The happy happy happy Lilac is a rescue from Tenn. Wag that tail, girl!!
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If you’re not ready for the intense commitment of owning a dog, buy some stuff at WARL, and that way you can still help Worcester’s homeless pups and kitties!

Thank YOU!

Pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

I visited the Worcester Animal Rescue League today! They have the cutest tees!

Buy one today and help Worcester’s homeless pups and kitties!

They’re located at 139 Holden St., Worcester!

Open 7 days a week from noon to 4 pm

Phone: (508) 853-0030

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Long-sleeved, too, for chilly summer eves:
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These babies need homes:

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Please! Open your heart – to all animals, great and itty bitty!

Visit WARL’s website: worcesterarl.org

Pics/text: Rosalie Tirella

Lilac!

By Rosalie Tirella

I was shooting for the stars: a purebred German Shepherd (gorgeous! majestic!) puppy (trainable, no bad habits/baggage) – a rescue (fixed, vaccinated, relatively inexpensive compared to a GSD pup from a breeder) who looked like the Old Injun Fighter’s vicious German Shepherd, Sparky (my dog would be the squirrely love tunnel back into the heart of the ex-beau I WILL NEVER EVER GET OVER) but acted like Rin Tin Tin (brave, loyal, serious, smart – just the ticket for my rough, crime-ridden Worcester inner-city neighborhood) ….but some how, like it always happens with me in life, love and dogs … I ended up with the POLAR OPPOSITE of my expectations! I ended up with Lilac!

A jingly jangly, wicked smart (plott?)hound-collie-shepherd-(coon?)hound mutt from Tennessee who runs circles around this old lady’s heart! She’s ALL Star American athlete while my other dog, 7-year-old Husky-mix Jett, and I wallow in middle age. She is strong and sure-footed while Jett and I sometimes miss a beat and stumble during our afternoon walks. She is silly and high-spirited – Jett and I are more serious, wise … philosophical.

She is spring. Jett and I are autumn.

She climbs trees! That’s the coon hound in her! Have you ever seen a dog pursuing a squirrel so relentlessly, so “doggedly” that she chases it right up the tree and climbs into the tree after it? It’s a wild sight! Lilac, just 9 months old, but three times as strong as Jett, with all her muscular grace bounding up to the tree, then her paws “running up” the tree trunk, four paws off the ground … and she’s all ecstasy, all fearlessness, no distracting thoughts, despite my yells of COME LILAC! COME! as she clambers up that tree trunk, in the most insane, ungainly way! Beautiful!

I have never hung out with such a natural hunter. My first dog, Grace, was a greyhound mix, and her prey drive was sky-high. But all she could do was run amazingly fast after rabbits, squirrels and deer (yes, Grace was a deer hunter!). But she didn’t like to swim – she would stop short in a pond or stream once the water reached her chest. But Lilac is super aquatic! She doggy paddles in various and sundry bodies of water with childlike abandon! Did I mention she can swim, run, climb, hop! hop! as in all four of her paws go off the ground in Tigger-like joyfulness, leap, scamper, lope and bound in pursuit of prey? She does all this with magnificent ease and sometimes grace, with a compact strength that’s overwhelmed me, once knocked me to the ground, left me squirming and crying in pain with a sprained ankle … watching Lilac glide on by, a loose, canine smile spread across her long face, her tongue lolling merrily, as if to say: See ya later, Mommy!

LILAC!!!! I yell as the college kids are lifting me up and gingerly placing me in my car … LILAC!! I scream in agony. But I do not – will not – leave the field until a tuckered-out, panting, chest-heaving Lilac finally notices me from a great distance, finally heeds the call and comes racing back to me, bounding into the car, splattering me and Jett (he never leaves my side these days) with mud and fetid water (Lilac took the scenic route and swam in the little pond) making us all one unholy mess!

Once home, I am busy wrapping my ankle with an ace bandage and popping Advil like PEZ, Jett is sitting on my bed, visibly upset (we had such a nice routine when it was just we two! he seems to say to me), Lilac is sleeping on a mat on the hardwood floor, sleeping a heavy sleep punctuated with sighs and deep moans, as if still chasing that damned squirrel in a dream. …or maybe it’s a wily raccoon in her home state of Tennessee. She is all wet and smelly from her jaunt over fields, through woods, under water, but I want her on the bed with Jett, I want her to feel his equal, build her self-confidence. I go to the linen drawer and pull out an old sheet, fold it in half and spread it over the foot of my bed. LILAC! UP! LILAC! UP! I say to my little athlete, tapping the bed with my the palm of my hand. Lilac rouses, sits up and stretches all the way back, yawning, like a little bathing beauty. She looks so pretty and soft – even with muddy underbelly and paw pads. Then she lopes over to my bed and with the slightest effort (like the true athlete she is) is lying next to Jett, curled up in a ball, in two seconds. Lilac plops down and plops down hard whenever she goes to rest. She never merely lies down. This makes her seem more raw-boned and “country” to me! Which I love! But her long tail always looks slightly feathery and oh so elegant!

We are home.

Jett is annoyed.

I am in pain. I will go to urgent care tomorrow – my ankle has swelled up to grape-fruit size and is KILLING me. I’ll have it x-rayed. Could it be broken?

But Princess Lilac, the little abused puppy who was dumped outside the Animal Control building in a Worcester County town … pretty, dreamy Lilac with limpid brown eyes and white feathery chest … pretty, sensitive Lilac who was kept caged in a too small puppy crate for hours at a time and S-T-R-T-C-H-E-D O-U-T on floor, mat, bed when I first brought her home, pretty collie Lilac who seems to read my mind when I am lonely and comes up to me and plops down hard against my side and rests her head on my chest or stomach and makes me feel warm, safe and, yes, loved, pretty not-so-little-any-more Lilac who drops her wet, chewed up doggy toys in my face when I’m lying on the sofa and talking on the phone with a friend (she does this to grab my attention), the lovely Lilac who takes Jett’s leash in her mouth and tries to lead him where she wants to go, smart Lilac who carries her empty water bowl to my bed and flicks it onto the comforter as if to say: FILL ‘ER UP! PRONTO! I’M THIRSTY, MA! has totally, absolutely won my heart.

… What German Shepherd puppy?????

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Lilac, resting in Rose’s bed